Property inspections are a very important aspect of buying a home. There is a lot happening that you cannot see with the naked eye.
Although we have covered extensively in the article on the Buyer Advisory all the things you can and/or should investigate during an inspection period, this article focuses specifically on Professional Inspections, what they do and don’t cover, and what the expect in a property inspection.
These people generally inspect the property. That means they are going to walk around the house, and check for common problems, such as:
They are acting like an extra set of eyes looking for things that are not up to code, not working, broken, partially broken, or visibly damaged.
They will deliver to you a very detailed report that is broken into sections such as Roof/ Attic, Plumbing, Electrical, Bathrooms, Kitchen, etc.
These inspections will usually set you back from $400-$800, depending on the size of the home.
Some general inspectors have multiple licenses, some do not. Regardless, if you have a pool, someone should inspect it. Either you will have to pay your general inspector extra, or hire a separate pool inspector.
A pool inspector is going to be similar to a general inspector, in that they will check the condition of the pool deck, the surface, the pumps, motors, filters, heaters, and all other aspects of the pool systems for you.
They will produce a report. If it is the same as the general inspector, it may be attached the to general inspection.
General cost for these are somewhere from $100-$200, depending on the size of the pool and whether or not it is the same company as the general inspector.
Unless the seller can produce documents showing evidence of a termite treatment within 5 years, or the home is still under a termite treatment warranty, we recommend a termite inspection.
In Arizona, we only have subterannean termites, which means they may go into the home to feast on wood in the daytime but every single night they return underground to live. It is actually for that reason they leave their most telling marks: the termite tubes. They are actually attempting to return back to the ground.
For this reason, termite inspectors generally look all through the house including the attic and the foundation for evidence of these tubes. On the foundation they look like this:
Termite inspections usually run between $150-$300, depending on the size of the home. Treatments, if needed, run from $400-$1000, depending on the size of the home, an don’t require tenting or leaving the home. You can usually get a 2 year warranty and the pest control company will keep coming back and spot treating the interior of the home (which sometimes takes a few tries) before the termites are gone.
Treatment for termites, if found, is only done on the exterior of the home, around the foundation, and by drilling holes in the concrete slabs that are not part of the foundation. Those holes look like this:
You may want to hire a roofing inspector, a land surveyor if boundaries are not clear, or other specialized inspectors such as a foundation engineer if the foundation seems less than perfect. It is also a good idea to get the sewer lines scoped to make sure they are fully attached to the city sewers, and clear of blockages such as tree roots, especially if trees are or were anywhere near the sewer pipes.
After receiving all of the reports you need, and doing all the other inspections you may want during the inspection period. You will submit an inspection notice (commonly called the BINSR). Once you submit that document, your inspection is over, even if you have days left in your inspection period. Find out more about the BINSR here.